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Dutch FA says it's time for Blatter to go

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter should not stand for re-election and the Swiss must take much of the blame for the crumbling reputation of soccer's world governing body, the president of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Tuesday.

The 78-year-old Blatter has been responsible for a growing regression of the image of world football and should not stand for a fifth term, as he is expected to soon announce, according to Michael van Praag.

"The image of FIFA has been tarnished by everything that has happened over the last years," Van Praag said in an interview in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, from Sao Paulo where he is attending this week's FIFA Congress.

"There are very few people who still take FIFA seriously and what ever way you want to cut and dice it, Blatter is responsible in the end," he said of the Swiss.

FIFA has been rocked by continuing scandal, not least the latest allegations of bribery in the World Cup bidding process. Van Praag said Blatter would have to listen to the continuing criticism and draw the appropriate conclusion. In recent days, FIFA sponsors have joined in with those striking a note of concern over the latest allegations.

Van Praag said he expected UEFA members would take a united stand in their approach to next year’s election when they meet in Sao Paulo on Tuesday, a day before the FIFA Congress in the Brazilian city that hosts the opening game of the World Cup on Thursday.

"The election for the FIFA presidency is only next year but it will be good if Europe is well prepared and ready to make its choice," said the KNVB president.

"If you are in a post for 16 years there comes a time when you have to ask whether you are still contributing."

Blatter has already hinted he wants another term in charge of world football’s governing body even though previously he had said his current four-year stint would be his last.

If re-elected next year, Blatter would stay in charge until 2019 when he will be 83.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson,; Editing by Mitch Phillips; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27 82 8257807; Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum)

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